Visitor Information

Towering above northwest North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is the region’s premier and most ecologically diverse nature preserve; a vast wild place, where knowledgeable guides and modern conveniences make a personal mountain adventure accessible to all.

One ticket price includes everything:

Guests purchase tickets (one ticket per person) and drive their own vehicles through the park, stopping along the way to enjoy a variety of activities.

Proceeds from your ticket are used to preserve and protect Grandfather Mountain for future generations:

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.

All proceeds from sales of tickets and souvenirs go toward caring for and presenting Grandfather Mountain in a manner that inspires good stewardship in others.

Main Attractions:

— Lofty altitude gives guests the exhilarating sense of being above the surrounding mountains
— Beautiful mountain scenery
— Mile High Swinging Bridge
— Environmental Habitats for native wildlife: black bears, river otters, cougars, deer and bald eagles
— Nature Museum featuring: excellent exhibits about the natural history of the region, theater showing nature movies made on the Mountain
— Restaurant and gift shops
— South’s best alpine hiking trails: More than 12 miles of regularly maintained trails ranging from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry challenges
— Picnicking: More than 100 picnic tables and grills are scattered throughout the park. The Woods Walk picnic area located on the right about 1/3 mile up the summit road is equipped with a water fountain and restrooms. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic. Those who have not planned ahead can purchase meals to go from the museum restaurant.
— Naturalist programs
— Special activities, programs and guided tours with the Mountain’s naturalists

Wood Carver’s Workshop

Tom Wolfe is one of America’s preeminent carvers of caricature figurines, and your family can watch him work when you visit his shop located next to the Woods Walk in the Grandfather Mountain picnic area. Stop in to hear his stories and to see his charming characters take shape. Tom is on site from 11 to 3 most days during the late spring, summer and fall – weather permitting. When you see his “woodcarver” sign hanging from the picnic area sign, you will know that Tom is welcoming visitors.

Special Events

— Dollar Days
— Nature Photography Weekend
— Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble
— Animal Birthday Party
— Singing on the Mountain
— The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games & Gathering of the Scottish Clans
— Professional and Amateur Camera Clinic
— Junior Ranger Day
— Girl Scout Day
— Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight
— Colors of Grandfather fall hikes
— Beary Scary Halloween

Click here for more information about featured events.

What to wear 

You will enjoy your visit most when you are dressed in jeans or other casual pants and athletic or walking shoes. We recommend that you bring layers of clothing, such as a jacket or sweater, just in case it is cooler than you expected when you get to the top. Bringing a waterproof rain slicker is never a bad idea in the mountains, as our weather can change quickly.

Do not wear slick-soled shoes or shoes with heels when walking on the cliffs or boulders.

When you arrive 

When you arrive, you will purchase your tickets at the entrance gate and drive your own vehicle through the park. Setting your own pace, you may stop at overlooks and picnic spots along the way to the Nature Museum and animal habitats (half way up the Mountain) and the Mile High Swinging Bridge (at the summit). Although your visit can be as long or as short as you choose, we recommend that you budget at least 2.5 to 3 hours to see it all.

Motor homes & hinged vehicles 

No motor homes longer than 28 feet in length are allowed through the entrance gate.

No hinged vehicles are allowed through the entrance gate. Guests who wish to unhitch trailers and leave them at the entrance gate may drive through in the tow vehicle.

No walking or biking on the summit road

Due to the steep grades and curves in the roadways, walking on the roadways is not permitted. Bicycling is not permitted on the roadways or on the trails.